Maybe I'm a barbarian at heart, or maybe I've just never lived in a place big enough that a violent intruder could attack me at a distance. But the baseball bat in my closet provides me with all the self-defense comfort I need, in the very rare occasions I've ever felt insecure on the home defense front. You see, it's inherently range-limited, so there's zero danger of any unintended consequences on the other side of the street as a result of using or even misusing it. A kid could do stupid, idiotic things with a baseball bat, and they're still not going to seriously hurt themselves or anyone else unless they really work at it. No need to lock it up or have elaborate safety mechanisms, no need to have an internal lawyer warning you about what's acceptable self-defense in the middle of an emergency: There's just a little circle about four feet in radius within which you are Babe Ruth and a hypothetical attacker is fucked.
Unless you live in a mansion, then even an attacker with a gun might not have the time to pull it out and shoot before the arm with the gun is shattered. And even if they do get off a shot, they are certainly not wasting any time aiming - so unless you're incapacitated by that shot, even then they're fucked. Between someone who knows the layout of the house intimately, is protecting their family, and is armed with a baseball bat vs. a panicked burglar possibly fucked up on something who doesn't know the place and has a gun in their waistband, there's not much contest in that.
A panicked burglar reaching for a gun in their trousers might just as well end up shooting their own balls off, and then you end up pitying them as they're wheeled away handcuffed to a stretcher. Their future social role in prison as a eunuch is probably not going to be ego-enhancing for them. But reaching for your bat, you're probably not going to accidentally bash your own balls in, so advantage You. Moreover, assuming the burglar doesn't just run away - which, believe it or not, the overwhelming majority do even if they're armed - then your swings mid-melee aren't going to continue through the walls and ceiling to endanger all your neighbors within hundreds of feet of your house the way that bullets will.
No one's going to steal your bat unless it's a really nice one or you live in a relatively poor neighborhood where anything is considered steal-able. And if they do steal it, they or the people they sell it to are going to use it to play baseball, not commit crimes. Contrast that with a gun, which imposes all sorts of obligations and dangers: To be safe and responsible requires keeping it locked up, and even then using it under totally legitimate self-defense circumstances may result in stray bullets that hurt or kill random innocent people. There aren't many scenarios in which an armed intruder would get you before you can get to them that wouldn't also make having a gun moot.
Besides, a bat gives a nice psychological balance: You don't have a false sense of security from it - it's realistic. It's a genuine equalizer in close quarters whereas a gun simply creates chaos. And when they're running away, there wouldn't be much opportunity to act rashly in an illegal way to get them - not unless you're the kind of nut who would chase them down the street. So if you're not a nut and don't live in Wayne Manor where a burglar could see you coming a mile away, a bat is fine.
You're welcome to spend money on pepper spray or tasers if you insist on being overly elaborate or aren't physically gifted with upper body strength, but probably not necessary. Also acceptable: Golf clubs, hockey sticks, sledgehammers. Cricket mallets are fine, if you don't mind the mild embarrassment of the criminal element knowing you're an aficionado of the sport. In any case, it's not an open battlefield - it's a 15' x 15' room, or a 5' x 20' hallway. The alleged benefits of firearms are illusory and come at massive net cost to your own safety and that of your community. And to be quite frank, before I wrote this - and likely for all time after I write this - I barely ever think about self-defense scenarios.
I'm sure many people who have a gun don't think about it either, but unlike my bat, their gun is dangerous just sitting there: Dangerous if it gets stolen, dangerous if a kid manages to play with it, dangerous to themselves and their neighbors if they ever are forced to use it, and also dangerous just by being there because the homicide or suicide risk of having the power to end a life by twitching a finger is unnecessarily high. People should have to put in some kind of work to kill, not just point at something and move their finger a few millimeters.
So, notwithstanding the admittedly phallic shapes of many sports implements that can be used as weapons, it's only really the things designed specifically to murder people that are the domain of insecure, dickless wonders. These are people who are disproportionately anxious about what other people may do to them even as they shrug off real, significant dangers like heart disease or diabetes. Being obsessed with preventing other people from making you feel powerless, and going to irrational lengths to achieve it, is the domain of the massive inferiority complex, and hence that of the small penis and/or crippled ego. Actual self-defense against other human beings for a private citizen without a specific antagonist deliberately targeting them never has to go beyond a Louisville Slugger. Anything beyond that is just protecting a fragile ego rather than a life, and that's pathetic.
A bat won't let you defend yourself against Gubmint, but neither will a gun unless it comes with its own air support. Unless you intend to compete with the nuttiest of gun nuts - who would probably be supporting a tyrannical regime - there's no point pretending that your little handful of pistols or hunting rifles are going to make the difference against psycho jackasses with heavy machine guns mounted on trucks like Congolese militias. The best way to maintain freedom in perpetuity is to exercise it, not fetishize objects that epitomize its opposite, fear. So if you're really, genuinely concerned about home defense, get a baseball bat and then think nothing more of it. And if you're concerned about freedom, then be free and deal with the consequences rather than obsessing on paranoid what-if scenarios.